This is a devotional that I put together for a ladies’ meeting I was speaking at. I have had it on my heart to share for a few years, and it seems like the perfect “first post” for my new blog as it truly is the basis of living a blessed, purposeful life. I pray that it encourages you and helps you. This is the first in this series of Trading Joy.
In the days we are living in, we can definitely see a lot of angry and sad women. The Lord kept impressing this thought upon my heart, “Where Is The Joy?” This loss of joy isn’t only on those who don’t know the Lord, but also among Christian women. But the Bible says we should have something different.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…”Galatians 5:22
One of the evidences of our salvation is joy.
Each of us go through periods where we just don’t feel that joy. We may wonder if we will ever be happy again!
Genesis 25:29-34 tells of when Esau despised his birthright. When we think of this story, it’s so easy to criticize Esau for his decision. Yet every day women and girls everywhere are making the SAME choice! We are trading the JOY God offers for temporal things.
While there are many things that we trade our joy in for, I want to just look at five.
- We Trade Joy for Self
So much in our culture is geared toward getting women away from the Biblical womanhood God has set up for us.
They are trying to convince our young ladies that beauty is all that matters. They invest everything into this – time, money…getting pampered… not that any of that is wrong, but we will not find joy in being called beautiful! You will always need more.
Our selfishness can go even further than just the “Me-Time” we demand is owed to us, careers, and even ministries can pull our hearts away from what God has for us. Many women today are as Timothy says in 2 Timothy 3:3 – without natural affection.
What is God’s way for us?
Well, in the beginning God said He created Eve to be a helpmeet to Adam. I know. That goes completely against our culture. He’s supposed to help ME because of all I have going on! But anytime we go against God’s will, we will lose some of our joy.
Over and over in the Bible, God talks about the importance of the woman in the home. In Titus 2, we are told to love our families, keep the home – not just the cleaning, but we are set up as keepers or guards watching what comes in and out of our homes.
Let look at some examples in the Bible.
For our husband…
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life…..Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”
In Proverbs 31:10-12; 23, we see that the virtuous woman built her husband up. So much so that he was known in the gates. She stood behind him and encouraged him to pursue greater things.
For our children…
“…a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Proverbs 29:15
When they do something wrong, it’s easy to blame daddy and say, “Do you know what YOUR child did?” But we are the ones who will give account.
I remember one Sunday in particular when I had all the kids perfectly dressed and ready for church. The boys with their hair brushed, cute little suits and bow ties…the girls with pretty bows, full dresses, AND we were early! A huge accomplishment for a mommy of 6 littles under 10! I decided to run to the bathroom really quick before we left for church. In that short time, my cute little boy decided to try putting an entire box of baking soda on his sister’s head.
I’m not exactly sure why they did that, but I had to quickly go give a little girl a bath and change her. In we walked, a few minutes late with a little girl with sopping hair. It only took a few minutes of them by themselves to take my joy. I’m sure you have your own story to add to mine. There are still going to be times that we cannot control leaving them alone for a few minutes (we all need to use the bathroom…though I did learn to go at church instead of the last few minutes at home!), but there are so many other times that we choose a few minutes by ourselves, and when we come out of hiding the house has fallen in! Yes, it can get exhausting! Yes, it takes a LOT of work and sacrifice! But it truly does make a difference!
“A wise woman buildeth her house: but a foolish woman plucketh it down with her hands.”Proverbs 14:1
Each and every day what we do either builds up our homes or tears them down. Even if you are not married yet, you are building the foundation. How do you spend your time? Is it all about YOU? Do you look for ways to serve others, or to be served?
God has called us to care for our homes, love our husbands and children, guard our homes. He says this is His will for us. If it is God’s will, He tells us to put our heart into it!
“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;Ephesians 6:6
“It’s a life of servanthood!”
Yes, maybe it is. But as Christians, whenever we choose selfishness over servanthood, we lose joy. Jesus himself gave us that example. Whether you are single or married, with kids or not, there is always more joy in giving than receiving or expecting everything for ourselves.